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Coup d'état

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The 1913 Ottoman coup d'état
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A coup d'état (pronounced /ˌku deɪˈtɑ/ also known as a coup or putsch) is a sudden seizure of government power in a state, by a group seeking to depose the current ruling body and replace it with a new one.

A coup d'état often results in a significant disruption of the social order in the state in which it occurs, often resulting in civil war or the establishment of a military dictatorship. A coup which immediately follows another coup is known as playing king of the hill a counter-coup.

Coups are distinct from revolutions in that coups usually do not involve large scale popular movements like revolutions do, ie coups are typically directed by small, elitist groups with an agenda without involving the larger populace, oftentimes involving sections of the military rather than the populace at large.

Due to their power to alarm and confuse (despite their vagueness), all variants of "coup" terminology are notorious favorites of the conspiracy theorist fringe, and particularly of the "alternative news" outlets that feed their paranoia.

Bloodless coup[edit]

A bloodless coup refers to a a coup that does not involve an assassination or a domestic military show-of-force. A bloodless coup involves unconstitutional or illegal activities in order to seize power from a democratically-elected government. Examples include widespread election fraud, or ignoring or overriding the lawful orders of the president or prime minister.

Egypt, Myanmar/Burma, Thailand, and Turkey are just a few of the modern nations in which notable coups have occurred. Business Insider called Iran's meddling in Lebanon a bloodless coup.[1]

The cranks who cry wolf[edit]

The term "soft coup" has often been used among conspiracy theorists (e.g. Globalresearch,[2] Zero Hedge,[3] Natural News[4]), but has also been used more sparingly in professional journalism.[5][1]

As noted above, variant terms (e.g. "counter-coup") also see widespread crank use.[6]

A certain crank, the career of which is built on proverbially tickling the Bubba nerve of his listeners with a gigant cartoon feather, has also found convenience in the term, as "soft coup" it basically a convenient way of saying (and we paraphrase):[7]

You know [silly revolutionary scenario] that I've been saying is right around the corner [since 1995[8]]?? Well, IT IS happening, but softly — so even though it's not obvious that it's even happening at all, that just means it's happening slowly RIGHT NOW!!

Similarly, talk of "soft coups" is a great clickbait-generating way to package wild speculation on various imaginary power struggles that are allegedly going on RIGHT NOW but just outside of view — e.g. inside the Pentagon.[9] Certainly a place into which Alex Jones (of all people) is likely to have privileged access.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]